Archive for December 18, 2009

UND Students Support Run for Dom

Posted: December 18, 2009 in Motivation

With the holidays approaching I thought it appropriate to recognize a key donation that was recently received for the Run for Dom effort.  For those of you who are new to following the blog this journey started in August of this past year after finding out that our dear friend Dominic D’Eramo at the age of 38 years old found himself in the battle for his life.  A husband and father of two young children – Dom’s world was dealt a serious blow.  Details of Dom’s battle thus far can be found here as well as in the side bar under the Key Posts heading.

Some of you may not know that my “day job” is in fact in fundraising work.  For the last 10 years I have been fortunate to work for the leader in non-profit fundraising solutions.  The focus of my division is on College and University on-campus fundraising efforts.  We are now located on 60 campuses across the United States and Canada employing more than 2,500 college students as well as more than 120 full-time staff members from California to Rhode Island, Texas to Ontario – and even the city of Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Back in 2003 we started a philanthropy program called H.O.P.E. (Holiday Outreach Philanthropy Effort).  This program was established to help our student fundraisers learn the greatest lesson in philanthropy that a small gift can really make a real difference. 

Each night in phonathon rooms around the United States and Canada our students would talk with alumni, parents and friends of their College or University and tell them just that.  That their gift of $25, $50, $100, $250 would make a real difference in the lives of current students.  Students just like them who would be able to enjoy scholarships, faculty development, programming and learning opportunities that would shape their futures – just as the generosity of others years before had done for them.

The H.O.P.E. program was our way of bringing this lesson to these students as they were asked to vote on a local charity that they were passionate about (March of Dimes, Homeless Shelters, Adopt a Family Programs, Animal Shelters etc.) and each make a small donation of $5.00 to support the cause.  This $5 donation which may sound insignificant to some is not the case for a college student where $5 is a meal, 2 gallons of gas, or that Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte that gets you through a long night of studies.

These $5 donations however add up very quickly and in fact our small “army” of student fundraisers donated over $13,000 to charity this fall supporting all kinds of worthy causes making a real difference in the lives of  many this holiday season – I have never been so proud of our group.

Dom at Walmart - practicing for rehab

What was truly remarkable in the case of our students at UND was that they chose to support Run for Dom as their H.O.P.E. program effort.  These students were very touched by Dom’s story and all that we were willing to do to help – in my case running two marathons in two weeks this spring in an effort to raise $26,200 ($26.2) for Dom and his family – that they chose this effort over all others to make a difference.

Each of the student callers at UND made a gift achieving a 100% participation rate which is truly remarkable.  Additionally we had several donations from the group far surpass the $5 goal at the $6 (Amanda Bullene, Kristina Gregg and Joe Laszewski), $10 (Collin Brumskill and Rachel Ripley) and even a large gift of $50 (Emily Wirkus)which was matched by our on-campus full-time manager Chris Brock.

The final total of $258.98 is the largest single donation to the Run for Dom effort to date!  An amazing accomplishment that proves that together a group of individuals can make a very large difference in the lives of others if they focus their effort and believe in a cause.  I personally wanted to thank each and every donor from UND – Lauren Berg, Megan Bezdicek, Collin Brumskill, Amanda Bullene, Rachel Busch, Peter Christian, Lori Florine, Kristina Gregg, Courtney Hanson, Rachel Holt, John Kappel, Jake Kjellberg, Jaclyn Kramer, Joe Laszewski, Scott Lebovitz, Matt Mason, Emma Meyer, Blythe Nakasone, Gideon Ogbeide, Lexie Pullin, Rochelle Rietsema, Rachel Ripley, Samantha Ruane, Rachel Smerer, Bryan Stanke, Marcus Wax, Emily Wirkus, Seth Zander – and welcome them to our honor roll of donors.

People continue to ask me about the two marathon in two-week challenge this spring and ponder “how can I do it?”  Well, it is moments like these where the question I find myself asking is in fact how can I not?

To the group up in Grand Forks – enjoy your holiday break and stay warm up there!  Maybe I can talk you into making a trip out to Boston this spring for spring break and a little road race on this April.

For more information about how you can help – please visit:

Happy Holidays Everyone!